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Waste from construction and demolition sites accounts for approximately 15-30% of all landfill content in the United States. According to NASA’s estimates, more than 500 million tons of often non-biodegradable building materials containing carcinogens and other toxins are sent off to the junkyard yearly.
Seeking to alleviate some of these environmental consequences of the built environment, Chris Maurer of redhouse studio has created the Biocycler, a mobile machine to be placed at demolition sites in order to recycle waste. Maurer, who previously served as director of the non-profit firm MASS Design Group in Rwanda, has teamed up with both NASA and MIT for the project, which is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to build a working prototype.
The machine, which will collect waste on site, uses living organisms, primarily mushrooms, as binders to form ground up trash materials into bricks. Fungi—Earth’s great decomposer—contains mycelium, the vegetative part of mushrooms that e…